INHERITANCE TAX, an assessment laid upon those made heirs of property, either by distribution or descent. Sometimes this as sessment is confined to collateral heirs, when it is called collateral inheritance tax. The rais ing of public funds in this way has been sanc tioned by legislation from the beginning of Roman law, and in England and other countries is a large and steady source of revenue, al though such taxes have been stigmatized by certain economists as °death duties.* During the Civil War taxes of this kind were made part of the internal revenue system of the United States, but abolished soon after the struggle ended. The rate and method of as sessment vary in different countries, and in different States of the Union. The English inheritance tax ranges from a 1 to a 10 per cent assessment, in accordance with the amount of the inheritance and the degree of relation ship of heirs. In the United States lineal, col lateral and succession inheritance taxes have been instituted in several States, as a source of domestic revenue. In Connecticut the assess ment on inherited property is graded from 1 to 8 per cent, according to degree of relation ship and valuation. In California, there is $10,000 to $24,000 exemption to near relatives, and then a graded tax from 1 to 15 per cent; distant relatives, $2,000 exemption and 3 to 25 per cent tax. In Delaware the assessment ranges 1 to 5 per cent, according to the amount of property left, and the degree of relationship. In Illinois, 1 per cent on values over $20,000 to lineal descendants; 2 per cent above $100,000, and 2 per cent to 5 per cent on all amounts to collateral relations. In New York, near rela
tives exempt to $5,000; 1 to 4 per cent on larger bequests; non-relatives exempt to $1,000, above that graded from 5 to 8 per cent. In Ohio and Virginia, near relatives exempt, others 5 per cent on all values over $ Nearly similar laws exist in Maryland, Mis souri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Delaware. In Alabama, District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island and South Carolina, there is no inheritance tax. The tendency to place a large tax on bequests to near relatives is illustrated by the laws of Arkansas, where it is 24 per cent on $1,000,000; Idaho, 15 per cent on $1,000,000; Indiana, Wisconsin and West Virginia, 15 per cent on $500,000; Nevada, 25 per cent above $500,000; North Carolina and North Dakota, 15 per cent above $50,000; Texas, 12 per cent above$500,000, and Washington, 12 per cent above $100,000. Inheritance laws have in the United States occasioned much discussion and litigation, but their justice and utility have been testified to by experience and the decision of the law courts. The economists of the present and other periods have seen the scientific pro priety of such legal provision% and have noted the uniformity with which they deal with all classes of the financial community.